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Humanity’s best chance? Bourgeois and Maurice are here to help us save the world without really trying

They’ve been called everything from cabaret terrorists to musical comedy’s answer to the Manson family. But really, like all fine satirists, Bourgeois & Maurice just want the world to be a better place. That’s the central concern of their new show, How To Save The World Without Really Trying, and it’s their best work yet – a scathing, toe-tapping survey of the worst of the human condition in 2016, from celebrity culture to civil war, all wrapped up in a tasting menu of utopian philosophical dabblings.

As their show comes to Soho Theatre, it seemed like an opportune moment to hear the duo’s thoughts.

BEN WALTERS: Your new show is called How to Save The World Without Really Trying. What are you trying to save the world from? And what have you got against trying?

BOURGEOIS & MAURICE: We’re trying to save the world from humanity, and humanity from the world. Arguably, this is quite a futile endeavour, but so are golf, plastic surgery and being a member of the Labour Party, and they all seem very popular at the moment. On the other hand, hard work, effort and personal sacrifice aren’t that appealing to most people – they’re certainly not one of our fetishes, so we figured if we are going to incite meaningful global change, it needs to be convenient and not take up too much time. Sort of Amazon Prime for activism. But cheaper.

BW: Alongside chemsex and feminism, the show features songs about British values and the collapse of the European project. Have you been watching the party conferences? What are your thoughts or feelings on how the whole Brexit thing is going?

B&M: We started to watch the party conferences, but the Labour one felt like an exceptionally dull episode of The Archers – a bunch of ‘nice’ people you don’t recognise gossiping about the local hydrangea scandal, seemingly oblivious to the hailing shit storm outside – whilst the Tories scared the living beelzebub out of us with their sci-fi-horror-Nazis-in-space blockbuster. So we had to switch that off and go back to watching Stranger Things. At least that monster isn’t real, or running a country. As for Brexit, it seems to be going really well, apart from the fact that it hasn’t actually happened yet, which is quite edgy. What we have managed to fathom is, much like the diversity of choice offered with the referendum itself, the options for the type of Brexit we can have seem to be a pretty cool choice between old-school racism and ruthless capitalism, Ahh, how do we choose, can’t we have both?!

BW: You've taken things up a notch with your looks for this show. How important is it for interdimensional drag-alien satirists to be fashion-forward?

B&M: Can you imagine someone singing a song about the eradication of the male gender and not wearing an avant-garde funky pumpkin outfit? No, didn’t think so.

BW: How's the baby?

B&M: Little Baby Boomer is doing fine. He’s going through a bit of a clingy phase at the moment but apparently that’s normal in adult babies (he just turned 64). We think he’s probably just worried about his pension, so we’ve just left him browsing Zoopla and comparing buy-to-let mortgages.

BW: You've been working on a musical, Graham Price Superstar. What’s that all about?

B&M: It’s about a man called Graham who tries to curb his existential despair by writing a musical about his life. It’s about success and failure and obsession and Andrew Lloyd Webber. We’ve written it for a cast of 45 with a full symphony orchestra and a hydraulic stage revolve but our producers have just told us we can only afford one man and a kazoo, so we may have to rethink it a bit. For artistic reasons.

BW: Be honest. What are humanity's chances at this point?

B&M: It’s touch and go but, before the sun implodes and consumes the whole of life as we know it, we really need to stop being such absolute dickheads to each other. We think we can do it but time is running out, and who wants to be that idiot facing solar annihilation and thinking, ‘Oh bugger, I guess we are all citizens of the world…’

Bourgeois & Maurice: How To Save The World Without Really Trying runs at Soho Theatre from 17th to 29th October. Tickets available here. Stop by the Bourgeois & Maurice site here, you can tweet them at @BourgMaurice, and you can find them on Facebook at @bourgeoisandmaurice

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